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Here's what happens to manatees during a hurricane

Save the Manatee Club says that manatees are used to hurricanes, but that doesn't mean they don't face any threats.
Credit: Andrea Izzotti - stock.adobe.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida is especially at risk during hurricane season.

Evacuation orders are given for people due to dangerous conditions, but what happens to the manatees in Florida's waterways? 

Patrick Rose, the Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club, in a statement said the Florida natives are adapted to the extreme weather, but that doesn't mean they don't face a risk like the rest of us. Hurricanes can cause dramatic changes to a manatee's habitat. 

During a storm, manatees may be swept by storm surges and go far inland to areas they are not familiar with. This will leave the sea cows in a completely changed habitat. For example, during a hurricane water levels may rise, but in some areas water may leave causing irregular-low levels that can leave manatees stranded

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Save the Manatees Club says manatees even though manatees are used to hurricanes it can be stressful and sometimes calves can be separated from their mothers during a storm. 

After a strong storm, Save the Manatees and the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership will rescue these manatees that may be injured and stranded, Rose said.

If someone sees a stranded, injured, or dead manatee they should call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-3922.

Storms can also spread pollution into the water causing an algal bloom or contamination leaving the manatees without a liveable habitat, Save the Manatees Club said. 

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